A second former staffer to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has come forward accusing him of sexual harassment.
Charlotte Bennett, who worked as an executive assistant and health policy adviser for Cuomo, told The New York Times Saturday that the governor queried her about her sex life, asked her if she practiced monogamy, and wondered if she contemplated having a sexual relationship with older men. She left the governor’s office in November 2020.
Bennett, 25, told the Times that the most upsetting incident occurred on June 5, 2020, when she and the governor were alone in his Albany State Capitol office. She said that Cuomo, 63, also suggested he’s fine with maintaining relationships with much younger women. (RELATED: ‘Such Arrogance’: Democratic NYC Councillor Says Gov. Cuomo Has Done Nothing ‘Except Lie To People’)
In a statement to the Times, Cuomo insisted his relationship with Bennett had been one of a mentor and that he had “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” Cuomo told the paper that he is awaiting the results of an independent review of the accusations and urged New York voters to wait “before making any judgments.”
Bennett told NYT that Cuomo did not touch her but that his intentions were clearly sexual in nature.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” she told the Times. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
Former aide Lindsey Boylan has also accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, including unwanted kissing. She originally accused Cuomo of improper conduct in a December tweet thread. She provided details of her allegations in a Medium post Wednesday.
— Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) February 24, 2021
Cuomo has denied Boylan’s allegations. (RELATED: Janice Dean Wonders If Andrew Cuomo’s Emmy Will Include ‘In Memoriam’ Section For Nursing)
Cuomo has been under a barrage of criticism after a report revealed he hid the number of people who died of coronavirus in nursing homes to avoid discovery by the federal government. Democratic New York Assemblyman Ron Kim has said the governor berated him and demonstrated “abusive behavior” during a “shouting match” phone call.
Kim has said the New York State Assembly is “inching toward” an impeachment probe and that he is willing to cooperate with any federal investigation into Cuomo’s mishandling of nursing homes.